At-Large Board Member
Mary McIntosh, a native of Minnesota, teaches Pre-AP World History/Geography, Facing History and Ourselves, and Contemporary Issues at Central High School in Memphis, TN. She joined LSP in 2016 upon learning that some Central High School students in 1917 had been spectators at the lynching of Ell Persons. She helped to plan an all-school assembly focused on telling the story of the lynching and then coordinated participation of Central High students in the Memorial Service marking the 100th anniversary of the lynching which included the 2017 Central High Choir singing a spiritual as people walked the path to the lynching site.
Mary has long sought to incorporate lessons of history to the cause of social justice today. In 2014 in response to the protests in Ferguson MO around the death of Michael Brown at the hands of police, she began a club called Courageous Conversations dedicated to providing a space for young people to learn to talk about current political and social justice issues with compassion and integrity while also being grounded in history and empirical facts. She also leads the Facing History Student Leadership Group at her school and is partnering with Narrative 4, an international organization that uses the power of sharing individual stories to encourage young people to lead with empathy. Most recently, she has begun a club called “History: Challenges and Choices” which provides space for students to study recent legislation that attempts to influence the way history is taught in public schools.
She has studied with the World War II Museum in New Orleans and in Normandy, France, participated as a Bezos Educator Scholar at the Aspen Summer Ideas Festival and in 2019, was named a Belz-Lippman Holocaust Educator of the Year (TN) and the High School Teacher of the Year for Shelby County Schools. Mary believes that teaching history allows her to help students understand how the realities of society today are often echoes of the stories and identities of events and people from the past. Grateful for the call to do work that truly matters each day, Mary and her husband Stephen have two grown children who live in Nashville, TN and Eugene, OR.